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Tension et paradoxe : la construction identitaire dans l’œuvre romanesque de Benjamin Disraeli

Abstract : Wishing to do away with the myth of the "Disraelian mask", the author suggests a new approach to Benjamin Disraeli's complex personality. Mostly based on the study of the writer's twelve novels, from Vivian Grey to Falconet, this discussion focuses on the evolution of Disraeli's attitude to his Jewish origins and the concept of "race" (Chapter 1) and to Victorian morality (Chapter 2). Disraeli's reputation as a chronically insincere man is here challenged. It is replaced with the contention that he was harassed by an inferiority complex stemming from his marked Jewish background and from the bisexuality that his novels suggest. It is therefore suggested that the tensions and paradoxes perceptible in his life and work had rather be attributed to his slow quest for identity. In other words, for the long-time notion that Disraeli was a mysterious statesman devoured by ambition, this analysis aims at substituting the more probable, and more humane, reality of a man who was more tolerant than his contemporaries, who needed both social and intellectual recognition, and who endeavoured to fight against the narrow prejudices of his time. Several appendices follow the discussion. A bibliography of Benjamin Disraeli's works is given, followed by a list of the works written by his father Isaac and his sister Sarah, both of whom exerted no small influence on the building of his character. The hitherto unpublished text of Disraeli's first tale ("Aylmer Papillon") is then published in full and preceded by a commentary. To finish, thematically arranged, memorable excerpts from his twelve novels are quoted in order to provide the reader with instances of the pithy viewpoints he expressed in these works on a variety of subjects.
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http://hal.univ-nantes.fr/tel-02089583
Contributor : Xavier Lachazette <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - 10:02:40 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-02089583, version 1

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Xavier Lachazette. Tension et paradoxe : la construction identitaire dans l’œuvre romanesque de Benjamin Disraeli. Littératures. Université Toulouse 2 Le Mirail, 1997. Français. ⟨tel-02089583⟩

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